Friday, July 1, 2011

Betty Jean Crouse, Lonely Hearts Swindler - 1933

FULL TEXT: A flat denial that she had operated “love racket” from the county was made Sunday night in a statement by Mrs. Betty Jean Crouse, Braddock Heights, who was arrested Friday afternoon by federal authorities on a charge of using the mails to defraud and released on $500 bail for action of the federal grand jury.

Mrs. Crouse said she as unaware that federal authorities sought her until the automobile in which she and her husband, Guy Crouse, were riding from Braddock Heights to Frederick stopped in this city. An auto carrying officers stopped nearby and Mr. Grouse says she walked up to the authorities and asked them what they wanted.

The story told by officers was that Inspector C. S. Wibel, Washington, and Postmaster C. S. Biser had motored to Braddock Heights to seek apprehension of Mrs. Crouse after alleged evidence had been procured here. With Edgar S. McCardell, Braddock Heights postmaster, they were investigating reported further evidence when Mr. and Mrs. Crouse passed by in an automobile. Thinking that they had heard that the authorities were making an investigation, the federal men gave chase and said they traveled at a high rate of speed before halting the ether car on West Patrick street and placing Mrs. Crouse under arrest.

Taken to the postoffice here for questioning. Mrs. Crouse, authorities} said, signed a confession of violation of the postal laws. She was then taken before United States Commissioner H. Noel Haller, where she first entered a plea of guilty, but later, on advice of her husband, changed the plea to not guilty. Bond of $500 as posted by Dr. Charles S. Brooks

~ Represented Self As Heiress. ~

The story told by the inspector who began the investigation on complaint of a California man. was that about four years ago the accused woman advertised for a “husband.” through a St. Louis agency. At intervals since that time, the statement said she advertised in a matrimonial magazine and otherwise, using her picture and different names.

One of the advertisements, the authorities said, represented Mrs. Crouse as a prospective heiress, stating that when she became 30 years of age she would inherit $25,000. The would-be bride, according to the advertisement, was “young and pretty, and doesn’t smoke or pet.”

The postal authorities charge that under this scheme under this scheme Mrs. Crouse received many replies through the mails, some of them bringing proffers of marriage. she would then reply, the exchange of letters being in the usual romantic manner. When things became interesting, she would ask for carfare to make the trip for the wedding and so a nice sum kept coming in, it is charged by the government.

~ Said He Sent $95. ~

The complainant who caused the investigation to be started was E. A. Rydgren, 1507 Seventeenth street, Santa Monica, Calif. Rydgren, the inspector said, asserted that he had sent $95 and received no reply from Mrs. Crouse. This letter to Mrs. Crouse was said to have been intercepted Friday by the inspector.

Inspector Wibel on arriving at the local postoffice, examined a money order which Mrs. Crouse was alleged to have cashed and then, with Mr. Biser, went to Braddock Heights. The situation was explained there to Mr. McCardell, and it was decided to have a clerk telephone the Crouse cottage, stating that there was a packet of mail at the office. It was then that Mr. and Mrs. Crouse took to their automobile, and the arrest followed.

Mrs. Crouse said Sunday night that she never wrote any letters as charged by the government and never received and money from prospective “husbands” through advertisements. She also said that she specifically did not receive $95 from Rydgren.

In connection with the stated of the agents that Mrs. Crouse was trying to evade them before she was arrested Friday afternoon, the defendant said that if she had wanted to escape from them, she wouldn’t have ridden past in an automobile. She would have gone out the back-door and escaped in the mountains if she had wanted to evade them, following the telephone call, she said.

The Crouse couple have lived in this section for some time, having been married in Texas, it is understood.

Conviction on the charge of “violation of postal laws and regulations in furtherance of a scheme to defraud by matrimonial agency,” carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 fine or five years in prison, or both.

[“Woman Faces Violation Of Postal Laws - Mrs. Guy Grouse Held In $500 In ‘Matrimonial Mart’ Investigation.” The Frederick Post (Md.), Oct. 30, 1933, p. 1]



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